Detal 5462920 – 5480388, zlewającego się już tła z numeracją, namalowany juz pod koniec życia artysty. Ostatni z numerów jaki arysta namalowaŁ to 5 607 249. Seria miała zakończyć się numerem 7 777 777. Życie artysty okazało się za krótkie.
Lot 52. Roman Opalka (1931-2011. Exécuté selon un programme artistique conçu en 1965.Signed, titled and dated ‘”OPALKA 1965/1-8 DETAIL- 5462920 – 5480388“’ (on the reverse), acrylic on canvas, ). 196 x 135 cm. Executed according to an artistic program conceived in 1965. Provenance: Collection Claude Berri, Paris. Collection particulière, Paris. Exhibited:
Les Mesnuls, Fondation Danièle et Florence Guerlain, Éternelles vanités, juin – septembre 2004.
Mouans-Sartoux, Espace de l’art concret- Donation Albers-Honegger, Avant-gardes polonaises, hier et aujourd’hui [Hiller, Kobro, Peiper, Przybos, Stazewski, Strzeminski, Drózdz, Flicinski, Myslowski, Opalka], octobre 2004 – janvier 2005.
Bergamo, église Sant’Agostino, Visioni. 20 artisti a Sant’Agostino, Bergamo, avril – juin 2005.
Estimate 250,000 – 350,000 euro. Christie’s. 12/05/20. Sold 704,000 euro
“Grey is not a symbolical colour, it has become for me the colour of invisible movement. Against this grey background there is my life: the opposite of cold indifferent colours. It is the colour of my pictorial sacrifice, displayed by the unfolding concept, its movement and time. As the opposite poles, at the extreme ends of the black in the first Détail, and of the white on white are the sufmato of one’s existence: colours can become mortally emotional.”
In 1965, Roman Opalka began the herculean task of painting infinity. Applying white paint to canvases primed in black, the artist commenced writing numbers successively, starting at the top left corner until having covered the whole picture plain. Opalka eventually added another step in his existential equation, adding one percent of white paint to the background of each new Détail, marking the irreversible passage of time and aspiring towards the quintessential disappearance of the white numbers atop the white background. As Opalka always worked standing, raising or lowering the easel according to the painting’s stage, his posture spoke both to the verticality of his painting and his own bodily relationship with the numbers. His person was inherently entrenched in the work, translating a fundamentally human endeavour to grasp the intangible. In 2008, the artist exceeded the 5 million mark, as his canvases steadily flirted with the monochrome. Détail 1965 / 1 – 8, painted towards the end of his career thusly tends towards ‘white/light’. Opalka’s journey to depict time through the medium of painting effectively found a material close through the artist’s death in 2011, as both the painter and the numbers dissipated. His artistic integrity lives on in his Détails, impressive momento moris of a conceptual nature.